A Business Plan in 30 days? Yes you can do it.
By Dee Power
Getting started on the business plan is often the biggest hurdle in the whole process of business planning. The project can be overwhelming. While the concept of business planning has tremendous merit, the actual implementation of the process can be daunting, even if you have written a business plan before. One of the most effective ways of completing any project, is to break it into smaller more manageable segments.
Business Plan Calendar Develop a calendar for the target dates for completion of the business plan by segment. 30 days is a reasonable amount of time to complete your plan. Most business plans take between 40 to 120 hours to complete. Allow two weeks for others to review the plan and give you their suggestions for improvements and then an additional week to incorporate those improvements into your business plan, and for a final read through and proofing. You can work on more than one part of the business plan at the same time. You can research say, competition while you write the Industry section.
Assuming you start the business plan on July 1, your calendar could look something like this:
- July 1– Day1 Start Business Plan and Business Plan
- Day 2 Begin Industry and Economic Review Research
- Day 4 Complete Historical Background of the Company Section
You already know most of the information about the historical background of your own company, it should be a matter of consolidating the information, editing it and then polishing. You can probably write this in just a few hours.
- Day 6 Complete Industry and Economic Review
- Day 7 Begin Competition Analysis Research
- Day 9 Complete Management Section
Most entrepreneurs know who their management team will be, or what gaps they have in their management team, so this section is relatively easy.
- Day 10 Complete Business Model Section
Again, you should have this pretty well defined just by having determined that you’re going to start the company.
- Day 11 Begin Research to determine pricing, costs, and processes for the product section
- Day 12 Complete Product/Service Segment
The product section is usually one of the easiest for entrepreneurs.
- Day 14 Complete Competition Section
This is the first section that may be a bit of a challenge. You’re halfway through the 30 days and you’ve completed six sections of your business plan.
- Day 15 Begin determining the Market and make a first attempt at financial projections.
- Day 17 Complete Operations, Production and Facilities Section
This section is pretty cut and dried and shouldn’t be difficult to complete.
- Day 18 Continue Market determination, start Marketing Strategies
- Day 20 Complete the Market Section
Another section that can be a challenge but there’s time for revision if necessary.
- Day 21 Begin Marketing Strategies and start refining revenue assumptions for financial projections.
- Day 22 Complete the Ownership Section
This is one of the easier sections of the plan.
- Day 23 Begin seriously working on the expense assumptions for financial projections
- Day 24 Complete the first draft of the marketing strategies section.
- Day 25 You now should have all the pieces in place to have a realistic first run at financial projections.
- Day 26 Complete the Marketing Strategies Section Refine projections
- Day 27 Complete the Financial Structure Section Refine projections
- Day 28 Complete Strengths and Weaknesses, Final proofing of all
- Day 29 Final Financial Projections
- Day 30 Write Executive Summary
- July 31 — Day 30 Completion of Business Plan
There! You’ve done a Business Plan in 30 Days.
Dee Power and Brian Hill are authors of
"Attracing Capital From Angels: How Their Money
and Their Experience Can Help You Build a
published by John Wiley & Sons 2002
and "Inside Secrets To Venture Capital"
published by John Wiley & Sons 2001
available in bookstores nationwide
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